Ranji Trophy 2013-14, Group A, 8th round, 4th day

Akshar Patel spins Gujarat to win

ESPNcricinfo staff

December 25, 2013

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Gujarat 479 for 8 dec (Venugopal 177, Merai 109) and 137 for 7 dec (Akshar 54*) beat Odisha 367 (Natraj 106, Dhurv 6-81) and 83 (Akshar 5-23) by 166 runs

Left-arm spinner Akshar Patel's brisk fifty and his second five-for this Ranji season helped Gujarat to 166-run win over Odisha in Ahmedabad. At the start of the day, Odisha were 345 for 8 in their first innings, but Gujarat ensured no time was wasted as they quickly mopped up the visitors for 367.

The 112-run lead was then stretched by the Gujarat batsmen with their aggressive batting. Akshar was promoted up the order and the left-hander responded with an unbeaten 54 off 48 balls. His knock was peppered with one four and two sixes and ensured that Gujarat kept the score moving in spite of losing seven wickets.

Their push for victory was strengthened when Odisha lost two quick wickets chasing 250. Akshar, supported by Jasprit Bumrah and Rakesh Dhurv, ran through the Odisha line-up as only three of the visiting batsmen could post scores in double figures.

The win helped Gujarat overtake Mumbai on the points table to move to second place with 26 points from seven games.

Jharkhand 332 (Nemat 85, Wakhare 5-82) and 161 for 9 dec (Tiwary 44, Wagh 4-39) drew with Vidarbha 218 (Fazal 89, Quadri 6-65) and 164 for 3 (Fazal 91)

Vidarbha held on for a draw in Jamshedpur against Jharkhand, thanks to a 91 from opener Faiz Fazal, who helped steer the team to 164 for 3 before the two captains decided to call it off.

Vidarbha, who had collapsed in their first innings from 136 for 1 to 218 all out on day three, clawed their way back into the game with an early strike on Wednesday, as seamer Shrikant Wagh removed Ishank Jaggi with the fifth ball of the day.

Saurabh Tiwary and Shahbaz Nadeem chipped in with 44 and 40 respectively, but Jharkhand's next five batsmen only contributed 11 runs between them. Wagh finished with 4 for 39 and the hosts eventually declared at 161 for 9, setting Vidarbha a target of 276.

Jharkhand had almost 60 overs to bowl Vidarbha out and secure their first win of the season, but Fazal and his opening partner Akshay Kolhar resisted with a stand of 55. Kolhar fell for 23, but Fazal put up important partnership - 53 for the second wicket with Ravi Jangid - to all but take the team to safety.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (December 25, 2013, 21:27 GMT)

Akshar Patel looking very potent, left arm spin is as valuable as Gold in International cricket, even Indian cricket doesnt deem left arm spinners as valuable assets which is a shame. The myth of Indian batsmen being masters of SPIN has been shattered time and time again, yet team management and BCCI are still in the dark about it. Spin department of bowlers need to grow and master their art by utilising experience of the great legends of spin we have in India.

Its not too late, we just need to look at how spinners like Swann have made our best look very ordinary, he is retired phir bhi we should have realised overconfidence makes us complacent.

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